It’s almost that time of the year again — some annual Cinco de Mayo “Hispandering” from Reince Priebus and the Republican National Committee. But, there’s one huge difference this year — the presumptive GOP nominee is a blatant racist.
In fact, this year, that day will fall at around the same time Donald Trump — a reality star/bigot who claims Mexicans are “rapists” and wants to pay for his border wall with your nana’s remittances — might just win enough delegates to grasp the GOP nomination in his totally-normal-sized hands.
Now, we know plenty of Latinos don’t celebrate Cinco de Mayo, but for years the RNC and Republicans have used the day to heap empty platitudes on Mexican-Americans and other US Latinos (as Congressional Republicans continue to do zip when it comes to immigration reform, but that’s another story).
Last year’s RNC Cinco de Mayo statement was a real lovefest: “This holiday is one of the many traditions brought to this country by those looking for a better life and in search of the American Dream. As we look to the future, America must remain a welcoming country that finds its strength in both our diversity and our common values.”
So much for that.
It’s as if Republicans looked in the mirror and asked themselves, “What else could we do to get our approval rating among Latinos down so low it could get mistaken for a toddler’s shoe size? Is David Duke running? No? What about that misogynist Birther from ‘Celebrity Apprentice’? Perfect!”
The GOP field started with seventeen candidates — two of them even spoke fluent Spanish, for the love of God! — but today the party is all set to nominate the guy who insists he has a great relationship with “the Hispanics” as his angry legion of supporters consider fist-to-face contact “Latino outreach.”
It’s hard to believe, but it’s been only three years since Reince’s now-notorious “GOP autopsy report” cautioned his fellow members that “Hispanic voters tell us our Party’s position on immigration has become a litmus test, measuring whether we are meeting them with a welcome mat or a closed door.”
In the end, Republicans didn’t offer Latinos and immigrants a welcome mat, or even a closed door — they erected a wall instead. And they’ve been paying for it ever since: a whopping 87% of Latino voters have either a “very” or “somewhat” unfavorable opinion of their party’s presumptive nominee.
It makes us wonder what in the world the Trump-era RNC could have planned for this year’s Cinco de Mayo (which falls on Thursday). Will they even bother to release a statement? And what’s the point if they do? What could they possibly say that would ever erase Trump’s bigotry, the beatings and assaults, the vile accusations about our family members, friends, and communities? The only thing louder than Trump has been Reince’s silence during his onslaught of anti-Latino and anti-immigrant rhetoric.
To paraphrase President Obama, I know we said Republicans needed to talk about Latinos more often, but maybe we should have been a little more specific.